We knew this day would come, we just weren’t sure who would do it first. A startup in Toronto called Scolaris offers a crowdfunding platform for students to find funds for tuition for college.
The site allows Canadian students attending colleges and universities in Canada to setup “scholarships” for themselves. Once the scholarship is setup students can turn to friends, family and even complete strangers for funding.
We wouldn’t be surprised if some of the students who participate on Scolaris.ca tell compelling enough stories that anonymous philanthropic donors choose to fund their entire education. Stranger things have happened.
Scolaris.ca uses a Paypal interface to complete the transactions for the fundees. That allows contributors to pay via PayPal account, credit or debit card.
Scolaris founder and CEO Mark Mauleesan drew from his own hard experience raising money for medical school when coming up with the idea for Scolaris.
“Medical school wasn’t cheap. I was fortunate enough to have people apart from my parents say ‘Here’s a cheque for Mark,’” Mauleesan told itbusiness.ca “My parents helped me through medical school and now my sister’s going through law school in Ottawa. So she can raise funds for her scholarship (on Scolaris.ca) in the coming year.”
Scolaris doesn’t charge the student or the donor. To make money the company does take an 8% fee off every dollar raised, with half of that going to cover PayPal fees.
In order to raise money for tuition students must provide proof that they are actually enrolled or accepted into a post secondary education institution.
Also all funds raised on Scolaris are put in a lump sum account on the students behalf and then paid directly to the school once the student furnishes a tuition invoice.
Unlike the US an average year of tuition in Canada is around $5500 so it’s not a huge amount of money to raise.
“As long as you’re going to an accredited (school) and can prove you’re a student or are going to be a student…(there’s) no way to come to Scolaris.ca and try to scam donors to try to rip them off,” Mauleesan said.
For more information visit scolaris.ca
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